Deciding When to Shave: Before or After the Shower

When it comes to the age-old debate of whether to shave before or after showering, there can be many conflicting opinions on what works best.

Ultimately, shaving after showering is the better option for manual razors as it provides a more comfortable shave and reduces the risk of skin irritation. However, electric shavers, trimmers, and similar shaving tools work best when used before showering.

Here we’ll discuss the topic in more detail, and provide some tips on how to achieve a great pre or post-shower shave.

Pre-Shower ShavePost-Shower Shave
Best forElectric shaversManual razors
AdvantagesStiff hairs, less mess, time-savingImproved hygiene, better razor glide, enhanced shaving experience
Tips for a great shave– Use a sharp, clean safety razor
– Rinse razor frequently
– Use hot towel or washcloth
– Use aftershave or moisturizer
– Maintain grooming routine
– Use a sharp, clean safety razor
– Rinse razor frequently
– Use shaving creams, gels, or soaps
– Use aftershave or moisturizer
– Maintain grooming routine
diagram showing what tools work best when used before or after showering

The Advantages of a Pre-Shower Shave

Shaving before showering works best with electric devices only. The reason why is that the skin and hair are dry, and these shaving tools tend to work much more effectively on dry hair and skin.

Not only does the device cut better, but there are also a few other benefits to shaving before showering:

  1. Stiff hairs: When the hairs are dry, they tend to be stiffer and stand up straight, making it easier for the electric shaver to catch and cut them. This holds true for beard and hybrid trimmers as well. In contrast, wet hairs can be more flexible and might lie flat or matted against the skin, making it more difficult to get a clean shave.
  2. Less mess: Shaving before showering means you can easily clean up any stray hairs and debris by simply taking a shower afterward. This saves you the hassle of having to clean your face, sink, or bathroom counter after shaving.
  3. Time-saving: You don’t have to wait for your skin and hair to dry before using the electric razor. You can simply achieve a dry shave and then step into the shower to clean up, streamlining your morning routine.

Why a Post-Shower Shave Might be the Better Option

While a pre-shower shave can be more convenient, there are also some notable benefits to shaving after showering:

  1. Improved hygiene: Shaving after a shower can promote better hygiene, as your freshly washed face will have less dirt and bacteria, reducing the chance of razor burn. Additionally, the warm water also helps to soften your beard or stubble, providing a closer shave and reducing the chance of nicks and skin irritation according to dermatologists.
  2. Better razor glide: Softened hair and hydrated skin provide a smoother surface for the razor to work on. This can result in a more efficient shave with fewer passes, ultimately reducing the risk of irritation and ingrown hairs.
  3. Enhanced shaving experience: Many people find the act of wet shaving after a shower to be a more enjoyable and relaxing experience, as the warm water and steam help to create a calming atmosphere. The use of high-quality shaving creams, gels, soaps, and brushes can also enhance the ritual, turning the task of shaving into a moment of self-care and pampering.

Tips for a Great Shaving Experience

Regardless of whether you choose a pre-shower shave or a post-shower shave, following these tips can help enhance your overall shaving experience:

  • Use a sharp, clean safety razor to reduce the risk of nicks, skin irritation, and razor bumps.
  • For sensitive skin, opt for shaving creams, gels, or soaps specifically designed to minimize irritation.
  • Rinse your razor frequently to avoid clogging and maintain a close shave.
  • Consider using a hot towel or washcloth on your face before shaving to mimic the effects of a hot shower and soften the whiskers.
  • Use an aftershave or moisturizer to soothe and protect the skin after shaving.
  • Maintain a consistent grooming routine to ensure your facial hair remains neat and well-groomed.

Adam Williams

As the lead editor of Tools of Men, Adam loves men's grooming products. Particularly of interest is managing facial hair and perfecting the art of the modern man's skincare routine. His work has been featured or quoted in several publications, including New York Magazine, Vice, Sharpologist, MIC, Elite Daily, and more. When Adam isn't working, he enjoys spending time with his two little kids who keep him both on his toes and young at heart.

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